Roman Dial Asks U.S. For Help in Search of Missing Son in Costa Rica

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 Cody Dial halibut fishing in prince William Sound, Alaska. Credit: Courtesy Roman Dial

Cody Dial halibut fishing in prince William Sound, Alaska. Credit: Courtesy Roman Dial

COSTA RICA NEWS – It’s been over a month that Cody Dial has been missing, presumed lost in Costa Rica’s Corcovado national park. Search efforts to locate the missing hiker have come up empty.

Roman Dial, Cody’s father and legendary Alaska adverture racer arrived in Costa Rica on July 23, with two backcountry-experienced friends from Alaska traveled to Costa Rica and entered the park without official guides to search on their own.

“We raised my son in the jungle,” says Dial, who is no calling on the U.S. to help find his missing 27 yeard old son.

Cody was last seen entering the 424 square kilometre (164 square mile) wilderness of mountains, beach and dense rainforest called Corcovado, on the Osa Peninsula, in Costa Rica’s southern zone (8°33′0″N 83°35′0″W). The park mandates entrance only with a guide to an area that includes dense foliage masks unseen canyons, poisonous snakes and illegal gold mines.

Cody emailed his parents on July 9 telling them that he was going in along to save money.

The trip was to have been one of Cody’s final adventures before resuming school, taking a break from his pursuit of a master’s degree in environmental science at Alaska Pacific University to hike across Mexico and Central America’s national parks.

Roman and two backcountry-experienced friends from Alaska in Costa Rica searching for Cody,
Roman and two backcountry-experienced friends from Alaska in Costa Rica searching for Cody,

A professor of biology and mathematics at Alaska Pacific University, the elder Dial, 53, is a four-time champion of the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic, a grueling 240 kilometre (150-mile) annual footrace across Alaska’s mountain ranges. His son Cody was the youngest person to complete the race, finishing at 17-years-old in 2004. Although park authorities abandoned the search for Cody last week, Dial is convinced his backcountry-expert son may still be alive and thinks he knows his location. But he needs help — the clock is ticking.

“I’ve been here for three weeks,” Dial says. “I’ve spent a third of my time dealing with the bureaucracies, a third of my time in the jungle looking where he may be stuck and another third of my time interviewing people who saw a lone gringo. There’s this group of miners who spoke with somebody at this really remote trail, this kind of hidden miners’ trail, where a gringo was cooking breakfast. One of the miners spoke English and they sat and had a conversation and he described my son’s equipment and it just sounded like him, my son Cody Roman. That was him.”

Dial has already gotten approval from the Costa Rican government to allow U.S. military into the park to help with the search. But his requests to the Department of Defense have gone unanswered. No one has even told him how far along his letter has gone or whether any office may be looking into it now. “Nobody’s been able to tell me who has my request,” he says. “And I’ve been pretty specific on what I think we need at this point.”

With time running out, Dial is now asking people to help in the search. “Here’s what readers can do to help. They can email or call their congressman and their senators, and have them put pressure on the Department of Defense. They can just say ‘Hey, here’s this missing person Cody Roman Dial in Costa Rica. Why isn’t the US government responding to the Costa Rican request for help to find the missing American in Costa Rica?'”

Dial is determined to continue the search on his own: “The most important thing you do in your life is your children,” he says. “Even when they’re adults, when they’re missing and it’s especially difficult—they’re still your children.”

Source: The Men’s Journal